A few months ago when I wrote about Linda Thomas using driving as a hook that, I felt was unnecessary, the first comment noted that as a radio commentator, her audience is disproportionately people driving. It’s a good point, and partly that explains the tone of this piece on My Northwest.
It’s far from a done deal and the public would be consulted before a protected bike lane would be added to one of those streets. But what is a protected bike lane, and how is it different from the bike lanes currently on 2nd and 4th?
Cycle tracks are full traffic lanes that are set aside from vehicle traffic and protected from cars by barriers.
“There might be a lane of parked cars that separate the travel lane and the bicycle facility,” Chang said. “It could be curbing, or it could be striping with some posts.”
Seattle has three of these protected bike lanes right now. Drivers and parkers had trouble with one on Broadway in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, because parking was pushed away from the curb into an old traffic lane. Those parked cars now protect the bike riders.
The money to pay for these extra bicycle amenities comes from your property taxes.
Still, what I think the piece is missing is that not providing bicycle infrastructure doesn’t mean there’s more parking or more room on the road. It would mean that more people would drive to everywhere. And when they do, they’ll take up room with their cars. If you can get several people out of their cars onto bikes, you won’t have to compete with them for parking space, and you won’t have them in the lanes of traffic that you’re trying to merge into. And as someone who bikes and drives, I’m just going to say that drivers are worse stewards of the roads than bicyclists; Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone text and bike.